Question:My mother fell and broke her hip. The doctors say she has a better chance of recovery if we delay surgery. Why is this?
Mortality (death) rate during the first year after hip fracture repair is 55 percent in older adults when the surgery is done within the first 48 hours. The death rate goes down to 24 percent for surgery done 48 hours to one week later. Surgery done more than a week after injury is linked with only 14 percent death rate.
The reason for this? Doctors think many older patients are in poor condition when they fall. Medical treatment before surgery can make a difference. The person gets fluids and proper nutrition. Their medications are reviewed and adjusted. Those who have diabetes get their blood sugars regulated. Other health concerns can be taken care of.
All these things help improve the patient's general condition and give them a chance for a better surgical result.Yoichiro Ishida, MD, PhD, et al. Factors Affecting Ambulatory Status and Survival of Patients 90 Years and Older with Hip Fractures. In Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. July 2005. Vol. 436. Pp. 208-215.
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